Video Issue - Please Help

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by dallen, Mar 21, 2006.

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  1. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    I am experiencing a very weird issue that defies any explanation that I can muster. Here is a brief description of my issue (any additional details will be provided upon request):

    --------------------------------- System Description ---------------------------------

    I have a Soyo KT400 Platinum motherboard, 1 GB of PC2700 RAM, AMD AthlonXP 2200+, Visiontek GeForce 4 128MB graphics Card, Samsung SyncMaster 213T 21.3" Monitor [plugged in digitally via DVI], 2 X 250 GB Western Digital HDs connected via a Promise SATA300 TX4 [non-RAID]PCI adapter (used strictly for data storage), 2 X 80GB Western Digital HDs set up for RAID 0 connected via the integrated High Point RAID adapter that is part of the Soyo motherboard. ATI HD Wonder TV Tuner used for allowing me to watch TV on my PC.


    --------------------------------- Problem Description ---------------------------------

    My PC has functioned normally for over a year. However, recently when I turn on my PC the BIOS and IRQ information that usually pops up briefly never appears and the monitor will alternate between "digital" and "analog" a few times then the LED on the monitor will begin to blink as if the monitor is not connected. Upon hitting the reset button the computer will reset and boot normally resuming normal operation. On a very infrequent occasion during normal operation with Windows XP Professional running the monitor will suddenly go blank and begin alternating between "digital" and "analog" a few times then the LED on the monitor will begin to blink as if the monitor is not connected. When that occurs normal operation is resumed upon resetting the computer. This problem seems to have worsened over time. Today I literally had to reset the computer 15 - 20 times consecutively in order to get my computer to boot into Windows. Also, the frequency of the screen suddenly going blank while Windows is running has increased.

    Thanks in advance for any information that anyone can provide that helps me isolate this issue and hopefully remedy it. Again, I will be monitoring this thread and will quickly provide additional information upon request.
     
  2. Slovak

    Slovak Registered Member

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    Not sure, but it almost sounds as if some monitor settings within Windows have been changed. Have you ever used any type of monitor calibration software? If so they can definately hose things up if not used correctly. Your video card might also be on the edge of dying, as well as the monitor.
     
  3. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Dallen,

    Check if your video card fan is still running at good speed. Most of us (me included) never think to check that because the fan faces down in a tower case.
    I had a video card that the fan stopped working some time ago. I didn't notice because I was using the VGA connector and the card didn't totally fry because I don't overheat it with demanding 3D games just 2D apps. I only noticed when I tried to hook up a DVI LCD monitor and the DVI connector didn't work. Even with the fan dead, the VGA connector still works. If it is the fan, have it replaced even if you decide to only use the VGA connector.
    From what you said, the monitor and video card were working correctly and plugged into DVI for 1 year? Or were you hooked up to the VGA port and only recently tried the DVI connection? Because, some video cards have had problems working correctly on DVI.
     
  4. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    This happened to me once. I found a replacement fan pretty cheap at directron.com
     
  5. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    Slovak,
    You raise some good possibilities and I appreciate your help. My monitor is the kind that allows for alternating between portrait and landscape and comes with Pivot software to facilitate this transition. However, I have not installed this, ever. Could not installing this contribute to my problems? I always keep my Nvidia drivers up to date and obtain them from the Nvidia website. I have changed some of the monitor settings for example I use the 1600 X 1200 pixel screen resolution and the 32 bit setting. Due to my desire to have larger font and icons, I upped the DPI setting to 120 and checked the Use Large Icons box at Appearance > Effects. I hope it's video card related. As far as the monitor is concerned, it better not be a problem with it. The damn thing cost almost $1,000 (21.3" Samsung SyncMaster 213T Silver).
    Devinco,
    Besides a little dust, the fan on the video card seems to be operating normally.
    Yes, that is correct. Things worked flawlessly for over a year with the same monitor and graphics card. I have reinstalled Windows since then, even then things seemed to run well for quite a while. The monitor has always been plugged into the DVI.

    crofttk,
    I replaced the fan on my graphics card shortly after I bought it with a CLICK HERE FOR FAN INFO

    If I end up replacing the video card, since I've contemplated upgrading from the Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4600 128 MB card to a 256 MB card. Any recommendations?
    Should I stick with Nvidia or move to ATI?
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2006
  6. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    crofttk,

    Thanks. Directron is a good store.


    dallen,

    Just a few more guesses...
    Screen Savers: Any new fancy ones lately? Sometimes they can cause issues. Try turning it off for a while and see if symptoms remain.
    Monitor Power settings in windows: Its on the same tab as the screen saver settings (Display Properties) click power...
    Sometimes the energy star power savings functions cause conflicts. Try setting off the Turn off Monitor option to never and see if that helps.
    Within the BIOS there are usually some power saving functions for the monitor as well. I usually turn those off too because I had some problems with them in the past.
    You could also try testing if the VGA (DB15) connector has the same problem (or doesn't).

    Try these one at a time then test it for a day (or whatever time period is sufficient to replicate the problem). If the problem still occurs, set it back and try the next.

    Good Luck.
     
  7. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    One more straw I offer for your grasp, dallen: I don't suppose you've added any hardware to your PC or otherwise increased the load on your power supply have you ?

    4 Internal hard drives is not typical, so I hope you do have a hefty power supply.
     
  8. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    I recently added a Radeon HDTV Wonder card, but the problems were prevelant prior to doing so. I recently spoke with a fellow Wilders forum member via telephone about this issue and we considered all the valuable information provided in this thread. During this discussion, some relevent information was uncovered.

    ----------------- RELEVANT INFORMATION -----------------

    Most of the time the problem makes itself known by simply showing a signal via the monitor that is indicative of not having your monitor plugged in. This seems to indicate a video card issue. However, I mentioned a small piece of information that Peter2150 recognized as being significant. This information was that occassionally Windows will begin booting, the famous Windows XP boot screen is displayed with the blue "Knight Rider light," then suddenly the screen goes blank and the monitor resumes its seemingly disconnected routine. When this occurs, I never hear the boot up music that has come to be known with Windows loading up. If this was either a monitor issue or a video card issue, wouldn't Windows continue to boot regardless and thus play the music?
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2006
  9. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    If it was a video card issue, Windows would probably not boot at all. If it was a monitor issue, you should have heard the music.

    BUT, I did hear that the NVIDIA 81.xx drivers ruined a lot of monitors with strange bugs. Its all fixed with the 84.21 drivers now it seems.

    When the monitor LED starts blinking, are the hard disk lights on your PC cabinet still on or are they turned off?

    Does Windows boot successfully in Safe Mode? (To start in Safe Mode, press F8 while the PC is booting and select the Safe Mode option).
     
  10. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    So, if what your saying is correct about a video card problem causing Windows not to boot is correct, then that problem has the capability of causing the symptoms that I'm seeing. For example, Windows could start to boot, then the video card related issue occurs causing Windows to stop booting. Therefore, I'm back to the problem either being a video card problem or a power supply problem.
    Actually, for unrelated and irrelevant reasons, I do not have my LED which connects to the hard drive activity light connected. I have been meaning to correct this, but have not taken the time yet.
    Firecat,
    Ironically, when the problem was at its worst I attempted to boot into safe mode and the problem prevented this from happening. However, I am currently using my sytem and it has ran flawlessly since yesterday. I think I have found a way to force the occurance, which is a significant step towards resolving the issue. When I attempted to print using my printer, the problem occurred, so I restarted the system (and it started perfectly) immediately I attempted to print and it occurred again.
     
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